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COTY JOBS LOSES HUGE BLOW FOR NENAGH - GOVT ACTION NEEDED

14 March 2017

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Labour spokesperson on Jobs, and Tipperary TD, Alan Kelly has said that the loss of over 200 jobs at Coty by the end of 2018 is a huge blow for Nenagh, and urgent Government action is needed in response. The job losses raise serious concerns for other pharmaceutical plants across Ireland, and what the Government will do to support towns outside the greater Dublin area.

Deputy Kelly said:

"Today, my thoughts are with the staff and family of those working in Coty. I know many of them very well. I have many friends and neighbours working in the plant. I have been speaking with some of them in recent hours and it is a difficult time for them as they have fought hard for many years to keep this plant open.

"This is a huge blow for the Nenagh area. The €14 million annual wage bill from employees has supported many families, along with local businesses and spinoff contract services and will be a major loss to Nenagh.

"The immediate focus now must be to support the employees who will lose their jobs by the end of 2018; ensuring their redundancy package is honoured in its entirety, and assisting them to re skill in the near future.

"Finding an alternative business to fill the site that has significant utility capacity and high spec finishes must now be a Government priority and we have a timeline up to the end of 2018 to do so. The IDA have been in contact with me over the last 24 hours and they have assured me that they will continue to advocate for Nenagh and Tipperary. We have seen a similar plant closure in Cashel reopen following the loss of Johnson and Johnson. It was subsequently replaced by Amneal so there is hope.

"The average service in this plant is 14 years and the local workforce has a wealth of knowledge, experience and training that is invaluable. I have also been in touch with the offices of the Minister for Jobs, and the Minister for Social Protection to ensure that all possible supports and assistance are made available to the workers, and the local community.

"The Coty employees have been through a long period of uncertainty that stretches back to the 2009 loss of the skincare Olay business and 400 jobs to Poland. Following this there was a cost restructure where employees sacrificed overtime rates and other benefits in a bid to cut costs and secure the plants future.

"In 2014 Procter and Gamble announced a further sourcing study involving the Nenagh plant prior to the Coty merger that came into force in October 2016. It was hoped that a company that specialised in the beauty industry would take the Nenagh plant and its iconic Max Factor brand to the next level.

"Moving to Coty, the employees again made huge sacrifices in reducing their costs, most recently closing out on pension and share purchase scheme losses. The Nenagh factory had a solid business plan in front of Coty that did not require a single block to be laid in the state of the art facility, where over 600 workers were previously employed

"Ultimately none of this was to be enough. In a tale of 2 plants, one in Ashford, Kent and one here in Nenagh, the cost structure was deemed to be in favour of the UK site. This raises serious concerns about the impact Brexit will have on manufacturing”.

“I will do everything I can to help the employees following this devastating news”.

ENDS